I have a thing for dictionaries of all sorts, physical or virtual. Beyond the obvious benefit of providing the correct spelling and usage of words, using the right dictionary can help maintain the ambiance of a story. Here are a few I’ve found particularly helpful.

A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, by G. T. Zoëga – this is a physical book that I use all the time for finding words (mostly to create proper names) that work well in my fantasy pieces. I have the hardback, but it’s still available in paperback for $27.99.

English – Old Norse Dictionary, compiled by Ross G. Arthur. It’s a PDF, so not as user friendly as it could be, but an invaluable resource for stories set in the period or for fantasy stories intended to have a Nordic ambiance.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary — An old reliable standby.

OEME is an online Old English/Modern English dictionary. It is a priceless asset when writing fantasy or period pieces.

Zhongwen.com — A very good Chinese language resource for when you want to maintain a far eastern flavor in your prose. If you’ve read any of my Min Lee stories you have encountered its influence. My apologies to any Chinese readers for the liberties I take with your language.

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